Here's what Rasta thinks about the backlash over his paintings

The 'celebrity funeral artist' has spoken out about the backlash he receives every time he touches his canvas

01 November 2018 - 06:00 By Chrizelda Kekana
Twitter is not impressed with artist Lebani Sirenje aka Rasta.
Twitter is not impressed with artist Lebani Sirenje aka Rasta.
Image: Twitter

Celebrity funeral artist Lebani Sirenje aka Rasta doesn't really "care much for Twitter" and the negative comments surrounding his portraits of late celebrities, he told TshisaLIVE on Wednesday. 

This after Lebani topped the trends list again for a portrait of HHP he started painting at his memorial service on Tuesday. 

In the past Rasta has also come under fire for portraits of Ma Winnie Mandela and ProKid but isn't "touched" by the hate.

"I have been drawing for a long time, since my high school days and it's my passion something that I live for. What people don't understand is that painting is a process and it's not a fast process. There's a lot of steps that must be taken from the first sketch to the final product. The problem now is that the minute I sit down, someone takes a picture of my incomplete work and says to Twitter, 'Look at Rasta's painting!' but at that stage the picture is not done, so it doesn't look great because it isn't done. But Twitter doesn't care, they go ahead and judge anyway," Rasta said.

Rasta also blamed the "unsolicited" pressure from the public. He said that people didn't consider other like his emotions on the day, the atmosphere at the funerals or how far along he was in his process.

"I'll admit, the pressure at funerals is different. It's difficult because families are crying and the atmosphere is heavy. I am an artist and obviously emotions affect me as well, but not just me. Nobody attacks a singer who stops singing midway because they are overwhelmed by emotions. No one says, that was a bad performance because they understand, I am treated differently."

Rasta said despite all the "bad reviews" on social media, the families appreciate his effort and work because he isn't hired. He said in reality, he got a lot more praise and pointers on how to improve than just hate.

"People can't just wake up and say I must stop painting, that would kill me... Rather they say go change this or learn this and I'll improve."